Episode 4

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Published on:

21st Sep 2021

Owen Thomas - Working with Marginalised Young Men

What’s life like for young Black men in London today – and how has it changed since the 1980s? What can be done to support them, and to open up new ways of being a man? Find out more in this conversation with Owen Thomas, Head of Programmes with Fathers at the charity Future Men, where he has worked for over 15 years.

Some of the issues we cover in this episode of Now and Men include:

  • Why Owen was invited to the G7 to talk to the Duchess of Cambridge and Jill Biden about Future Men’s work with fathers.
  • Owen’s experiences of growing up and learning about what it means to be a man in Brixton in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • The struggles and new opportunities around being a father during the pandemic.
  • The work that Future Men do and how they seek to foster new, healthier models of masculinity.
  • The Black Lives Matter movement, and the impacts of racism on Future Men staff and the men and boys they work with.
  • The challenges that young men in London are facing now and in the future, from extreme wealth inequalities, to gentrification, to gang violence - and how young people are creating social change in the face of this.

We apologise for the background noise during the first part of the episode – Future Men’s office is near a school and the children were obviously having their break at the same time we were recording!

Find out more about the work of Future Men at http://futuremen.org. You can follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FutureMenUK, Facebook at https://facebook.com/FutureMenCharity/, and LinkedIn at https://linkedin.com/company/future-men-charity.

If you have any questions or comments about this or future episodes of Now and Men, you can contact us at nowandmen@gmail.com.

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About the Podcast

Now and Men
Current conversations about men's lives
What's it like to be a man in the 21st century? How are feminist issues relevant to men and boys? These questions are being discussed more than ever.

Our monthly podcast delves into these issues with experts such as practitioners, activists and academics. In each episode, you’ll hear in-depth conversations about masculinity, gender equality, and the lives of men and boys, with topics ranging from preventing violence against women, to promoting active fatherhood, to supporting men's health.

The podcast is created and hosted by Dr Stephen Burrell, Sandy Ruxton and Professor Nicole Westmarland, who are researchers from the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA), in the Department of Sociology at Durham University in the UK. If you would like to give us your feedback, suggest a guest, or have a question you'd like us to discuss in a future episode, get in touch with us at nowandmen@gmail.com.

About your hosts

Stephen Burrell

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I am a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Durham University (UK), and a Deputy Director of the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA). My research is about men and masculinities; especially preventing men's violence against women, and engaging men and boys in caring for the planet. I am also a trustee for White Ribbon UK and on the steering group for Changing Relations CIC. In my spare time I am a big fan of drinking tea and being in nature.

Sandy Ruxton

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Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Durham University (UK). Independent researcher, expert on men and masculinities. Previous policy work on human rights, children and families, poverty and social exclusion, and asylum and migration. Programme experience with boys and young men in schools, community, and prisons. Steering Committee member, MenEngage Europe. Volunteer for OX4 Food Crew. Chess-player, bike-rider, tree-hugger. Great grandfather edited Boy's Own Paper, but was sacked.